This blog covers everything except sports and gardening, unless we find a really good link about using dead professional bowlers for mulch. The author is a StarTribune columnist, has been passing off fiction and hyperbole as insight since 1997, has run his own website since the Jurassic era of AOL, and was online when today’s college sophomores were a year away from being born. So get off his lawn.

What's the worst page on the Internet?

Posted by: James Lileks under Gripes, Outstate, Technology Updated: July 22, 2013 - 12:18 PM

General rule: if a headline asks a question, the answer is No. Unless the question is “Are you sick of headlines that ask questions?” Even then, it’s doubtful. So when digiday asked if THIS was the worst page on the internet, you immediately thought of something you stumbled across years ago and cannot forget no matter how many times you think of a river of bleach. Anyway:

CafeMom created the page, which carries a ho-hum piece on “Glee,” following the death of show star Cory Monteith, specifically for content-distribution network Outbrain, which displayed it on sites like TMZ.com and SI.com. This page contains over 90 ad units, mostly “content marketing” ads from networks Taboola, Adblade, Zergnet. There are also four standard display ads served by CafeMom. The user experience is, well, not optimal.

A selection:

I've seen worse. Although when I first clicked on the page I found a picture that would give Trypophobiacs a full-body heebie shudder. (Do not google trypophobia, because it will make you a trypophobiac.) (It’s "fear of holes." Just leave it at that.) (You googled “fear of holes,” didn’t you. You were warned.) Anyway, it’s the sort of page that infests the web more and more these days. At least Cafe Mom is not one of those sites made by robots, for robots; the other day I did a google image search for something that had to do with architecture; can’t remember what. This came up:

Okay. Not any architect I recognize, but maybe he's wearing Frank Gehry-designed underwear; I'd have the same expression.

I clicked on the page. All ads. Nonsense copy. And this was the comments section:

 

A bizarre parallel world of useless, automatically generated websites lives right below the surface of the useful web, like an enormous colony of ants.

BILLIONS WANT TO KNOW IF THE WATER BROKE. BILLIONS  What are you waiting for? A royal baby, of course. The entire world is waiting, and you are part of the world. Ergo, this BBC headline is absolutely accurate.

 

 

CRIME Add this to the list of things that are illegal:

A Florida university footballer has been arrested for barking at a police dog and resisting arrest, police say.

An officer and a dog were investigating a vehicle in Gainesville early on Sunday when Antonio Morrison, 19, barked at the animal, police said.

Florida law makes it a crime to "harass" a police dog while the animal is "in the performance of its duties".

Mr Morrison, who plays linebacker for the University of Florida "Gators" team, said the dog had barked first.

It’s a good thing that law was on the book, or another vicious criminal would have gone scot-free. I mention this only to ask you if you know what “scot-free” means. Most things are scot-free. Look in your wallet: any scot? There, up in the trees: not a single scot anywhere. What does it mean? To the internet, Robin:

Dred Scott was a black slave born in Virginia, USA in 1799. In several celebrated court cases, right up to the USA Supreme Court in 1857, he attempted to gain his freedom. These cases all failed but Scott was later made a free man by his so-called owners, the Blow family. Knowing this, we might feel that we don't need to look further for the origin of 'scott free'. Many people, especially in the USA, are convinced that the phrase originated with the story of Dred Scott.

Especially in the USA? There are people in Ecuador who think that’s the origin? The piece goes on:

The etymology of this phrase shows the danger of trying to prove a case on circumstantial evidence alone. In fact, the phrase isn't 'scott free', it is 'scot free' and it has nothing to do with Mr. Scott.

Given the reputation of Scotsmen as being careful with their money we might look to Scotland for the origin of 'scot free'. Wrong again.

OH FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, just tell me. Let me guess: it has nothing to do with Scott Glenn, the actor who did not appear in most movies ever made, thereby leading to the film-industry term “scot-free,” with the extra T removed because there was a law, passed in 1867 but never repealed, that banned the use consecutive Ts in front of minors, or something like that.

'Skat' is a Scandinavian word for tax or payment and the word migrated to Britain and mutated into 'scot' as the name of a redistributive taxation, levied as early the 10th century as a form of municipal poor relief.

Ah! Got it. So any Paula Abdul video that does not have MC Skat Kat is “Scot-free.”

 

 

 

Or evading a tax levy. That’s what it means. You’re welcome.

 

MEANWHILE IN RUSSIA Today’s dashcam video: truck with a crane snaps overhead power cord and drops it in the pedestrian crossing.

 

 

I was going to link to this, which is starting to - altogether now - going viral, but it has profanity. It also has no real reason for existing, but that’s the internet: a guy decides to accelerate the end of his marriage by filming his wife having a total freak-out because he won’t take her to the lake, and then posts it on the web to ensure total global humiliation. Not that she didn’t deserve it, but really, why is this everyone’s business now? Because of the lulz! Ha ha she’s stupid. But while we may sympathize with him for having to endure that burst of nonstop harpyism, and while you can understand why he wants to get his point across because she’s slagging him on Facebook, it’s really quite extraordinary, when you think about it.

Arguing loudly in your house with the windows open is one thing. Setting up a microphone and a Marshall stack is another.

 

 

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